Double duty: Sioux Falls city finance director takes on second department

Shawn Pritchett will also run the Department of Innovation and Technology. He's the fourth person to have the job under Mayor Paul TenHaken.

Shawn Pritchett.PNG
Sioux Falls City Finance Director Shawn Pritchett will also run the Department of Innovation and Finance.

Sioux Falls has a new director of innovation and technology and it’s a familiar face.

The city council approved the appointment of Shawn Pritchett to the position on Tuesday, Dec. 13.

Pritchett is the current director of finance for Mayor Paul TenHaken and will keep that job as well as the new one.

The combination of jobs is allowed under the city charter, TenHaken said, though it is unusual. In this case, several factors combined to make it the right decision, he said.

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Sioux Falls Mayor Paul TenHaken
Contributed / City of Sioux Falls

Filling positions continues to be difficult and pairing the jobs together allows for more efficiency. The innovation and technology department also added a chief technology officer two years ago, which means there is more senior level management in place, the mayor said.


Plus, Pritchett will be the fourth person TenHaken has appointed to the position.

“I’m 0 for 3 in four-and-a-half years in leaders for that department,” he said. “Going with a known entity was very important to me. As well as the fact that when you are lame duck government official, and I have about three years left in this term, convincing appointed people to come work for your administration when they know they have a three year shot clock for a job is very challenging.”

The two departments will continue to operate separately.

Councilor Curt Soehl said his only concern that if it doesn’t work out for whatever reason, he doesn’t want to see Pritchett leave his first job.

“If he’s wearing two hats and fails at one, I still want to keep him as the finance director,” Soehl said.

Patrick Lalley is the engagement editor and reporter for Sioux Falls Live. Reach him at
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